5 Must-Have Corporate Security Policies (And How to Develop Your Own)
According to FBI crime statistics, someone in the United States experiences a burglary approximately every 12 seconds, totaling over $3.4 billion in property and personal losses annually. From IP or product theft to information breaches and technological risks, your enterprise faces constant physical and digital threats from deviants.
Protecting your company from threats is more vital than ever and, thankfully, more straightforward.
You can better protect your systems and information by developing and implementing corporate security policies or defined rules that establish how information objects should be treated. These policies also keep employees and your larger organization safer by prominently—and publicly—publishing your commitment to security.
If your company lacks a solid corporate security policy, knowing the most crucial corporate security policies and how to make your own can turn an internal vulnerability into a public strength.
5 Corporate Security Policies Your Enterprise Should Have and Why
With increased threats affecting businesses across the private sector, corporate security policies ensure your sensitive data is protected and properly used to the best of your ability. A thorough approach requires many layers of security, cutting-edge technology, and continuous maintenance to stay at full strength.
Here are five security aspects encompassing both high (company-wide) and low (individual employee) corporate levels, which should be included in the corporate security policy you build.
1. Account Monitoring Compliance and Control
Arguably the most common source of digital compromise stems from user error and poor monitoring. Old or inactive employee accounts can easily and unintentionally share digital assets and open your enterprise to risk. If disgruntled staff or senior team members still have access to your secure data, you risk data breaches and other, more severe consequences.
Account Monitoring Compliance and Control policies encourage regular and thorough data audits in compliance with your security policy. These audits should make sure existing team members aren’t unintentionally violating account compliance, should keep illegal users from accessing your data, and maintain a current account of registered users. Consider designating internal technical experts to monitor existing accounts, create new ones, and terminate inactive ones to prevent illegal or unmonitored activity.
2. Approved Use
An Acceptable Use Policy demonstrates your commitment to the security of your IT network and sensitive data, especially during a breach or audit. In addition to setting clear boundaries of acceptable use for employees, it also protects your enterprise against legal implications during these times.
Clarification of acceptable use should happen upon hiring: many companies have new employees acknowledge and sign this policy with other hiring paperwork. This way, acceptable use is undeniably clear for all team members, and you have grounds to pursue corrective action if a violation occurs.
3. Incident Reporting
Having an Incident Reporting Policy helps create a corporate culture of open communication where employees can help keep your enterprise a safe and healthy workplace. Outlining how to tell your enterprise about a range of negative experiences like personal injury or damaged property, incident reporting can also alert you to a scenario that could potentially become dangerous. Good reporting has several benefits, including serious injury prevention, leading to health and safety improvements, and saving time and resources. In addition, you keep your team and your company safer by providing straightforward ways to make these reports, whether through an online portal, in-person to HR, or a company form.
4. Incident Response
An Incident Response Policy works hand-in-hand with your reporting policy and helps to identify areas vulnerable to potential breaches to minimize damage quickly. A good incident response policy helps restore security as soon as possible. IBM reports that if a breach occurs without an Incident Response Policy in place, your company is likely to spend $1.2 million more on damage control than counterparts with breach preparations.
Your Incident Response Policy should include how to evaluate and report incidents of a breach, problem-solving pathways to minimize the resulting damage, and proactive action steps to mitigate future risk. With these steps in place, not only do you have a reliable action plan in the event of a breach, but with each situation, you gain more experience to help address the subsequent breach with increased effectiveness, hopefully eliminating them altogether down the road.
Unlike incident reporting, a Whistleblower Policy outlines how misconduct (like harassment, illegal activities, or corruption) should be shared. At times, it also helps to protect the reporting individual from repercussions. Whistleblowing can happen organizational level or publicly. Each company handles whistleblowing differently: exploring potential options and finding your best fit is essential. Whether you set up an anonymous hotline, an online social channel, or even a police reporting line, setting up avenues for whistleblowing helps keep your company and employees safer by giving them a clear reporting path without fear.
Establishing Your First Security Policy
A documented corporate security policy is the foundation of how your enterprise approaches security. A living component, your corporate security policy should reflect your corporate culture and evolve in harmony with your business practices. Prioritizing this growth takes planning and development to ensure your policy provides maximum value to your company’s security and your team. As you outline your corporate security policy, consider these steps to help keep you on track.
Identify potential risks and the level of security needed to protect them
Identifying your risk areas is more straightforward with effective monitoring or reporting tools, but you can also learn from past breaches and mistakes. Consider what efforts or oversights led to costly errors and the red flags led to them so they can be guarded in the future.
Check legal compliance
It’s also essential to ensure employees are intentionally protecting your data and are aware their activity is monitored to minimize risk (if this is a choice you make). Without this knowledge, data tracking can invade privacy, one reason legal compliance and transparency are invaluable as you establish your policy.
Put the policy into writing.
Your Corporate Security Policy is the public guide referenced to prevent breaches in the event of (and in anticipation of future) violations. Writing your security policy makes compliance easier for everyone: written protocols provide an explicit point of reference that anyone can access anytime, leaving no room for confusion or deviance and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Train your staff
Once your policy is established in writing, all employees should be trained to follow the procedure, report violations, protect your data, and sign a compliance agreement upon completion. When there’s one weak link in a chain, it breaks. Without training, there’s no way to guarantee every employee will act in agreement to protect your data.
Enforce penalties as needed
Despite training and best intentions, human imperfections inevitably lead to error. When a breach or non-compliant action occurs—even accidentally—corrective action should be taken. This communicates consistency and follow-through to both employees and the public that you really do enforce your policies and take data protection seriously. It also allows your team to learn from others’ mistakes and prevent future breaches.
Support Beyond Policy
Even with a near-impenetrable corporate security policy in place, it’s impossible to eliminate risk. However, adding additional safeguards—like an experienced and reliable risk solutions partner—to watch your blind spots and provide additional support strengthens your arsenal.
At Resolver, our sophisticated, easy-to-use solutions are designed to help your growing enterprise reach new heights. Whether you need improved corporate security, best-in-class risk, compliance, or experienced IT management, Resolver’s technology and data-driven reporting help drive your business forward. Contact us today to request your demo and see how our solutions can work for you.